Hours after Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had lost Twitter's authentic 'Blue tick' in his personal Twitter handle due to prolonged inactivity, several RSS leaders including its chief Mohan Bhagwat had encountered such a glitch by losing the blue tick in his Twitter handle. The development had triggered a backlash from the Union government with the Modi government mulling to issue a notice to the micro-blogging site.
According to reports, the removal of blue checkmarks from the several leaders of RSS, the ideological parent of BJP, has come after Twitter and restored the 'Blue tick' to Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's personal account. The RSS leaders who lost verification badges include RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Suresh Soni, Arun Kumar, and Suresh Joshi.
The reports say that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology is considering issuing a notice to Twitter asking why the removal of verification was done without prior intimation to the government. The development has come when the Indian government and Twitter are in a tug-of-war over several issues including freedom of expression and the new IT rules.
On Saturday, Twitter had hit headlines in the country after it had removed the 'Blue tick' from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's personal Twitter account in the morning hours of Saturday. The micro-blogging site has introduced the blue checkmark system in June 2009 as part of its verification polity. The 'blue tick' on the account denotes that it is verified to be authentic, active, and notable.
By invoking the clause of inactive, Twitter had removed the blue tick from Vice President Venkaiah Naidu's account. The removal has lasted for a short period of time until the site had restored the checkmark back to his personal account. According to reports, the social media platform was trending on Saturday morning after it had removed the checkmark from Naidu's account.
The officials of the Vice President's Secretariat have said that the Twitter handle of Naidu @MVenkaiahNaidu was inactive for a long time and the Twitter algorithm had removed the blue tick. As per his account, the last tweet that the Vice President had posted through his personal handle was on July 23, 2020. After removing the badge, Twitter had later restored the badge to his account.
Venkaiah Naidu has been serving as the Vice President of India since August 2017 and the official communications from him including his speeches, remarks, international tours, and obituaries have been shared through the official account of the Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat). Naidu's personal handle has about 1.3 million followers and he was not actively using it.
According to ANI, a Twitter spokesperson said, "The account (Naidu's personal handle) has been inactive since July 2020 and as per our verification policy, Twitter may remove the blue verified badge and verified status if the account becomes inactive. The badge has been restored." On the other hand, the Union government has on Saturday served a final notice to Twitter to comply with the new IT rules formulated by the government failing which the micro-blogging site will face consequences.